The authors conduct an exposé on the deterministic denunciations of Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS) and how citation errors keep these criticisms alive. They use a zombie metaphor to describe more than two decades of battling these seemingly mindless assessments of QDAS that keep coming –despite their decay – and simply will not die. Focusing exclusively on the criticism of separation/distancing, which alleges that the computer and the software interfere with the researcher’s familiarity with the data, the authors trace one current strand of this criticism through a literature genealogy. Three citation errors (half-truth, proxy, and hearsay) are identified to help dismantle the criticism that QDAS inevitably and negatively interferes with the researchers’ connection to the data. The article concludes with a reckoning about the role of QDAS experts in perpetuating these citation errors and provides four specific recommendations for all qualitative researchers; suggestions that amount to a more viable avenue for pursuing a cure.
ATLAS.ti, CAQDAS, Citation Error, Distancing, Literature Genealogy, NVivo, QDAS, Qualitative Data Analysis Software, Separation, Zombie
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Recommended APA Citation
Jackson, K., Paulus, T., & Woolf, N. H. (2018). The Walking Dead Genealogy: Unsubstantiated Criticisms of Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS) and the Failure to Put Them to Rest. The Qualitative Report, 23(13), 74-91. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2018.3096
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